"NO" to Montreal's "BIENVENUE B&B"

Aug 21st, 2002, 12:41 PM
Dr. Jennifer R. Smith-Ohayon
Posts: n/a
"NO" to Montreal's "BIENVENUE B&B"


Firstly, this is the first time I have ever posted a negative comment on a B&B. We booked one of their "premier" rooms (#5) with a private bath for $140.33 (CA dollars) per night. Let me tell you why:

1. They do not have air conditioners in the rooms, even though it was very hot during our visit in August. But thats OK; however, there was one very large window (~1 foot from the floor at ground level) in the main room and two smaller oblong windows in the bathroom (~1 foot from the floor at ground level). But, most upsetting was THERE WERE NO SCREENS!!!!! We did not have a sense of privacy or safety. Anyone could have easily climed into the main room or bathroom, as people walked past our window all evening, into the wee hours of the morning.

2. I would not have used the towels, of which none of them matched, for cleaning rags. The towels and sheets were dingy and old. ALL the towels had worn spots...very soon to be holes. BTW, you should bring a summer blanket, as well as your own towels, if you choose to stay at BIENVENUE B&B. Don't except nice fluffy towels ans linens.

3. Ms. Sirois and her partner Mr. Cote, use the same kitchen/mini-refrig to cook their meals (they live upstairs). The little regrigerator was full of food and stunk! During the second night of our stay, their dirty dinner dishes (spaghetti) stayed in the sink all night. It was gross!

4. Private bath was a built-in shower, resembling a narrow tube. Two tiny generic soaps as amenities to the room.

5. No phones in rooms.

6. Bring your own alarm clock.

7. Additionally, it is NOT in downtown Montrael/Old Historic Montreal. You will be two stops in the subway from downtown.

I am informing others about BIENVENUE BED & BREAKFAST, as it truly diminished the quality of our week-end get away. We paid $280.66 for services from late FRiday evening to early Sunday Monrning (basically 1.5 days). I wrote my complaints to Ms. Sirois and she informed me that she had been doing this for >20 years (I quess she's using the same towels, too). Pretty sad, as for the second evening of our stay...she didn't even leave us a note, or maybe a chocolate, or maybe even some better linens. If so....I wouldn't be writing this letter, huh? You can get much better for the same price, or upgrade a little for an amazing evening at Hotel Place D'Armes.
Aug 21st, 2002, 01:25 PM
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It is in Centreville and their website is www.beinwenuebb.com
NOTE: notice they provide no pictures of the rooms/baths. BEWARE!!!!

The same money can buy much more!
Aug 21st, 2002, 01:38 PM
Posts: n/a
I must reply to this, since I have stayed here also. This is a 'no frills' b&b in a nice location. We paid $75 Cdn a night, which works out to anout $52 US, for two people. The rooms were quite plain, the towels and bedding were not top of the line, but they were clean. The breakfast was homemade french toast, juice, fresh fruit, and coffee. The hostess was a charming, retired opera singer. The Laval street location was ideal - quiet and very close to Duluth street, St. Denis, and a short walk to the Metro. We have stayed at many nicer b&b's in Montreal, but for $52 for two, this is pretty hard to beat. However, had I paid $140 CDN, I might not be as happy!
Aug 22nd, 2002, 07:56 AM
Posts: n/a
Hello. My husband and I travel the B&B way most of the time. I have to say that more than hotels, you have to be so careful. There is such a range of B&Bs and price does not necessarily reflect the accomodation. One place we stayed at near Ottawa had us in a room over the garage and we were subjected to a yappy, jumpy, barking dog all our through breakfast of mircorwaved bacon and eggs every morning. Never again. Another B&B was littered with there (clean) laundry and after we woke up from our non-heated room in late October, we had breakfast with the owners who proceeded to bicker at each other and complain about there lives to us while giving us unsolicited advice. And then there are the good ones which I am finding are fewer than I thought five years or so ago. There should really be a B&B reviewing web site much like Fodors Travel Talk but all about B&Bs. Does anyone know of one? I know there are a few books by reviewers, like the Best Places to B&B in Ontario but I can't say I agree with all of the choices. Anyway, some food for thought. By the way, if it was that bad, why did you stay the second night? You have a right to leave and if they tried to charge your credit card, you just would have had to call the company and refuse the charge. There are always loopholes. Plus if it is done in a nice way, chances are they don't give you too much trouble (like when we left the Bickering Couple). Take care!
Aug 24th, 2002, 11:47 AM
Posts: n/a
As a B&B owner in Edmonton Alberta, I would suggest to anyone who is booking b&bs to look for ones that are either "Canada Select" (this is an inspection by the Hotel Association) or a b&b that states that they belong to some b&b association. In the Alberta Bed & Breakfast Association, our members are inspected for cleanliness, quality and safety every two years. Then if you do have a complaint, at least there is someone to deal with that complaint other than the hosts. With independents you never really know what you are getting.
Aug 24th, 2002, 12:01 PM
Posts: n/a
In Ontario, the equivilent association is FOBBA, Federation of Ontario Bed and Breakfast Accommodation.

Another fairly new organization, Canada Bed and Breakfast Hosts (www.CanadaBBHosts.com) does not "inspect" its members, but does ensure a few basic facts are true before hosts are allowed to join (it's free, amazingly, but still very select): The B&B host/owner MUST live on premises, so it is a true B&B experience -- none of the many (especially city-based) flophouses pretending to be a B&B. Also, the property must serve breakfast. A simple assumption, but you would be surprised by how many B&Bs forget what the second B stands for! And the third requirement, and by far the most important, is that the host is dedicated to guest satisfaction in every regard. To ensure this, there is a probationary period of membership during which the host must participate in a private forum of other hosts, and only then are they listed on the public site, above.

If you are a B&B host in Canada, you might consider joining this group. The information exchange on the private hosts' forum is invaluable ... and it is free!

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